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Barron and Rams get accord on contract
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
Wednesday, Aug. 10 2005
Coach Mike Martz got the word right before practice Wednesday afternoon -
first-round draft pick Alex Barron had agreed to terms on a five-year contract.
If it wasn't challenging enough to get Barron under contract - he was among six
unsigned first-rounders when the day began Wednesday - the task now becomes
getting him ready to play as soon as possible.
"From what we saw of him in minicamp, he had a long ways to go," Martz said.
"You don't ever want to box the guy in - tell him he can't do this or that. But
it's going to take him some time just to learn what we do. No matter how good
Martz reiterated what he stated on Saturday - that Barron will not be ready to
play right tackle in the season opener Sept. 11 in San Francisco.
"There's no way in the world, he'll be ready for the opener," Martz said. "I
don't care who you are, there's just too much stuff to learn that he's missed.
Which is really unfortunate, and that's been lost somehow in these things. It's
just too bad, really. But hey, it's done. What's done is done, let's move on."
So how does Barron catch up?
"That's a good question," Martz said. "We'll find out. We don't have time. We
don't have time to nurse him along, and give him special attention. We're
trying to get ready to play a season. ... We just need to get him in here, get
him involved, and see where he is with all this stuff."
Martz was highly critical of Barron's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, in comments made
to reporters Saturday. Martz couldn't resist one more jab at Barnes when asked
when he expected to see Barron at Rams Park.
"I would hope that he'd be here tonight," Martz said Wednesday afternoon. "I
would hope that he'd been here in town, waiting for this deal to get done. I
think if his agent was responsible, he'd have him here in town. So when this
thing got done, he could come right over and get this thing over with. I'd be
very disappointed if they had him down in Florida someplace."
Barron has spent much of his summer in Tallahassee, Fla., where he attended
Florida State. But he had just arrived in his hometown of Orangeburg, S.C.,
when the contract agreement was reached. Barnes was still working on logistics
Wednesday night, so it's doubtful that Barron will be signed and in St. Louis
in time for today's practice.
If that's the case, Barron probably won't hit the practice field until Sunday,
because the Rams play Chicago on Friday in their preseason opener and then have
the day off on Saturday.
"Alex is such a tremendous athlete, it won't take him long at all to get
ready," Barnes said. "I think he'll be ready to get out and play in the next
preseason game (Aug. 21 in San Diego). But he'll definitely be ready to play in
the opening game. I think he'll be ready to start, and establish himself as a
starter and a great player in the league."
Through Wednesday, Barron had missed 14 days of training camp and 20 full-squad
practices. During the team's June minicamp, he struggled with technique, the
Rams' complex blocking schemes, and the footwork adjustments needed to play
(Although he played on the left and right sides in college, Barron did very
little pass blocking at right tackle at Florida State.)
It may take a while, but Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt
feels the team has a group of coaches than can get Barron ready as soon as
"We have a very good offensive staff," Zygmunt said. "They will do it as fast
as anybody in the NFL. I believe it. It's a very experienced group. It's a
group that won a Super Bowl. Won a lot of playoff games."
Barnes declined to provide contract specifics, but said the main hurdles in
negotiations were "the guarantee (money) and some of the terms on the back side
of the contract as far as making sure Alex could earn his incentives. Those
were some of the sticking points.
"Even though it took a long time, it was not a contentious negotiation. Jay was
excellent, really. . . .We just had to work through some things, and we finally
got it done."
Re: Barron and Rams get accord on contractOriginally Posted by MartzOriginally Posted by Barnes"Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
-08-11-2005 #3SFCRamFan Guest
Re: Barron and Rams get accord on contract
I believe that Martz was right. This guy was posturing to get more propects next year. Watch for a repeat next year by this guy with his new clients.
Re: Barron and Rams get accord on contract...Face it Barnes, you blew your boys shot at starting, and now instead of getting in for the Wednesday PM practice, he has to wait until Sunday. Nice move, bigun'. --HUbison
It's not only Coach Martz that rightfully complained about the situation but the Rams OL coaches, they now face the extra work load to try and shape AB into performance decency for the regular season.
Sleezy Barnes. "Agent" my foot!